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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 4 No. 1, p. 139-142
    Received: May 10, 1974

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Effect of Sewage Sludge on Some Soil Physical Properties1

  1. Eliot Epstein2



Raw and digested sewage sludges, 5% by weight, were incorporated into a Beltsville silt loam soil. The soil-sludge mixtures were incubated at 15, 25, and 35C for 75 days. Periodic measurements were made on water retention, hydraulic conductivity, and aggregate stability. Adding sewage sludge shifted the water retention curve so that the water content at specific water potential values was higher, but the amount of water between −0.33 and −15 bars potential essentially remained the same as that of the original soil.

Addition of sewage sludge initially increased the saturated hydraulic conductivity. After 50 to 80 days, however, the hydraulic conductivity dropped to that of the original soil. Percent stable aggregates increased as a result of sludge addition. After 175 days, the percent stable aggregates averaged 28–35% for the sludgeamended soil, as compared to 17% for the original soil.

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